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Writer’s Wednesday: The City of The Mirage by Jerome Brooke.

The Writer who is in the spotlight today is someone whom I am familiar with. He has had work published many times in Welcome to Wherever, and is talented in both his stories and poetry. This is his first published book.

The City of the Mirage is ruled by the Divine Astarte. She has called the man who comes to be called the Conqueror to her service. Astarte was born on our own world.

Astarte rules a vast empire of the multiverse. Her race seeded many worlds with life over the eons. The Conqueror leads her legions to victory in a war against forces led by her brother.

This is the tale of a modern day pilot who has had to ditch his aircraft in the desert. Lost and alone, the pilot heads for the only hope he can see, a stream flowing through a ravine. After he steps into the stream and begins to follow it a mist arises and he steps through into another world without realising. Here he meets the Lady of the Myst…

Told as if the pilot is reporting back to his superior, the prose is lyrical and flowing. The action is intense and heated, moving from battle to celebration with barely a pause. Each story within the book fits perfectly with the next and the characters are well formed.

The storyline as a whole has the potential to be a great work of Sword & Sorcery or an Epic Fantasy. However, speaking as someone who has read a lot of this kind of work, it is let down by the impersonal nature of the storytelling.

It is very difficult (in my opinion) to connect with the characters when you are being told about what is happening to them, rather than experiencing the encounters through the senses of the Pilot. I also find the “signing” of the end of each story rather jarring as it takes the reader out of the flow of the story.

The author is clearly someone who has experienced battle as the skirmishes are well choreographed and the weapons expertly researched. There is also a great deal of knowledge of the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, Sumeria and Persia, all of which add to the fascinating world that has been built and it is a world I would like to find out more about. I do hope that Mr. Brooke continues to evolve this world and publish more stories about it.

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